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A mechanism is proposed to explain differences in acute toxicity to different species caused by substances that form stable ammonia complexes. These substances include chlorine and various heavy metals. A deficiency in osmoregulation, resulting in damage to the gill but not the skin epithelia, is discussed in relation to varying degrees of toxicity affecting a wide spectrum of aquatic organisms.
physiology, chlorine, chloramine, metals, toxicity, fish ammonia, gill epithelia, membrane permeability, sodium, efflux, influx, osmosis, aquatic toxicology
Clemson University, Clemson, S. C.